Tag Archives: University

Celebrating Friendship: Natasha Kanji Photography + Fashion Tights

24 Jan

Friendship is a pretty amazing thing and I believe it should be celebrated. My friends are so near and dear to my heart; I am incredibly grateful for them.

Significant life events are often captured with professional photography: engagements, weddings, anniversaries, births, graduations… These events (from my experience) focus on family and partner portraits. I agree that these are special and momentous occasions that should be recorded and shared, but who helps us survive the ups and downs of life between these life-changing events? Who do we complain to about our families and partners after the honeymoon is over? Who do we call when we have an exciting announcement? Our friends.

Friends are important and need to be celebrated.

My friends help me get through the craziness of life. As much as I love my family, they do not understand me the way my girlfriends do. My university friendships are so special – we have gone through the same experiences, have had the same identity crises, share similar political opinions, similar interests (hello Crafty Ladies), and realized collectively that life does not get any easier after you finish your undergrad (or masters). My friends are supportive, generous, intellectual, funny, kind, beautiful people. When we get together time stops and we can literally sit around and talk and laugh for hours. It is really magical.

My friends are amazing. I know that they know that I think they are fabulous. To celebrate our shared awesomeness I organized a photo shoot with the very talented Natasha Kanji. I bought some helium balloons and met my friends in Gastown Vancouver for a fun afternoon running around cobblestone streets in bright fashion tights and sassy heels. It was a great experience. I had so much fun! And the photos are gorgeous.

I can’t thank Natasha enough for the beautiful photos. She did a great job of capturing everyone’s personalities and the incredible Vancouver cityscape. These photos make me so so so happy; they are such a special keepsake. I can’t wait to frame them and make an album. I love them – Thank you Natasha!

To see more photos from our Gastown photo shoot please check out Natasha’s blog or visit her website.



20 Nov

It’s my blogoversary!

365 days, 121 comments, and 87 posts later The BB Creative is one year old! I’m really excited about my blogoversary. Why does this seem so much more exciting than my actual birthday?!

If you don’t mind I’m going to take a moment to reminisce and re-share some of the most popular stories, ideas, and projects I posted on The BB Creative.

I really have to thank my dear friend Vanessa for asking me to be her maid of honour and allowing me to blog about her charming Saskatchewan wedding. I loved blogging about Vanessa’s wedding and I think my readers enjoyed it as well. My posts on Vanessa’s wedding are some of the most popular stories on The BB Creative.

Want to see some amazing eye-candy (it’s 100% calorie free!)? Take a walk with me down memory lane and check out these very popular posts!

Eclectic & Lovely DIY Wedding Projects

The Invites are Here!

Nicole Gerhardt Photography

I started The BB Creative as a space for me to explore and reconnect with my artistic childhood dreams, to showcase past and present projects, and to share the work of other creatives that inspire me. I’ve really enjoyed sharing my handmade projects with you, my readers. This blog is an excellent catalogue of projects, events, tutorials and random inspiration I’ve found on other blogs that continue to motivate me creatively.

These aren’t necessarily my most popular posts, but they are some of my favourites and I believe they are worth revisiting because they have helped me get to where I am today.

High School Drawings

The Medium is the Message

Creative Process for: Can’t Stop

Give Thanks

I don’t think that I would have started this modest blog without the encouragement of the lovely Crafty Ladies! They gave me the extra little push I needed to start The BB Creative. They are the best and I love getting together for our crafternoons and later blogging about our crafty projects. Thanks for the moral support ladies!

I find keyword searches that bring people to The BB Creative really amusing. But I also take these Google keyword searches as huge compliments; I can’t believe that such lovely words direct people to my blog. Here are some of my favourite keyword searches from the past year:

  • gorgeous whimsical (love this!)
  • amazing invitations (obviously for Vanessa’s wedding)
  • vintage cheesecake (hahaha – what is vintage cheesecake?! Hilarious.)
  • hippie posters
  • i love art
  • dream

I can’t believe The BB Creative is a whole year old! Thank you so much for reading, whoever you are.  I am always amazed and surprised that people other than my mom find what I write about interesting. I know that time is a precious commodity and really appreciate that you are willing to share a small part of your busy week with me. Thank you.


Art vs. Craft

30 Jul

When I was in university I spent many of my fine and performing art classes exploring the difference between art and craft. This still is a topic that I find really interesting. I would love to do more research in this area (and possibly work on some exciting exploratory projects along the way).

With the popularity of websites like Etsy, the world’s handmade marketplace, and blogs like Design*Sponge, your home for all things design – I find the art vs. craft discussion very topical. But maybe the bigger question here is do people care how they are labeled? Would you rather be known as an “artist” or as a “crafter”? Are you a Georgia O’Keeffe or a Martha Stewart?

While trying to come to some sort of coherent conclusion on the difference between art and craft I created this string art installation (unfortunately I don’t remember what the title of this artwork was) as one of my final art projects in university. This was a minimalist installation that referenced the popular string art of the 1960s and traditional feminine works of embroidery and geometric patchwork quilting. Working on this installation helped me, at the very least, have an opinion on the issue of art vs. craft.

This isn’t meant to be an academic blog so I’m going to very informally share my (somewhat informed) opinion. I would categorize my string art installation as art and not craft. More than any other factor, scale defines the difference between art and craft.  If I were to shrink this artwork down to fit on an 8.5” x11” piece of paper its status as an artwork would be questionable.

Traditionally art has been defined by where and how it is created. The fine arts were always considered to be a public, professional activity. Women, detained to the domestic sphere, could not create artwork in the privacy of their homes. The paintings, large-scale needlework arts, and quilts women artists created were seen to be simply decorative, feminine, an extension of the woman fulfilling her nature. These artworks were considered crafts; crafts were considered to be part of a woman’s domestic responsibility. The status of the artwork was tied to the status of the maker.

Looking at handmade websites like Etsy I think that the status of the maker does still greatly influence whether the creator is categorized as an artist or a crafter. Association with the traditions and practices of needlework and domestic art can be dangerous for artists, especially when that artist is a woman. This was something we talked about extensively when I presented my string art installation. Women still straddle the fine line between crafter and artist, especially now with the popularity of everything handmade.

More than the status of the creator, the medium used, ideological framing, where the work was created – scale for me is what defines art. Do you agree? I’d love for you to share your opinion.

If you are interested in this topic I suggest you read Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology by Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock.

The Medium is the Message

23 Jul

I studied Communication and Fine and Performing Arts at Simon Fraser University. I really enjoyed my studies and wouldn’t change much about my university experience. It was a fabulous time. As a Communication student much of that time was spent studying the wonderful work of Marshall McLuhan, Canada’s media guru.

McLuhan would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 21, 2011. Almost every Communication class I took had at least one lecture that focused on McLuhan and his theories (hot and cool media, the tetrad, metamedia, figure and ground media, the global village). McLuhan play a very large role in my undergraduate career and I think it’s only fitting to dedicate this week’s blog post to the Canadian visionary that has shaped the way we look at technology and globalization.

For one of my Fine and Performing Arts classes our final project was to create an installation that interacts with a specific space on campus. Being the communication nerd that I was (and admittedly, still am) I chose the School of Communication lobby, as it is where I spent most of my time. I love this space; its new, clean, has lots of natural light, and is full of amazing people.

My installation was made up of 21 freestanding cardboard letters that spelt out “The Medium is the Message”. Each letter was about 1’x2’ and required 5 coats of paint. Bringing this installation to life was a surprising amount of work, but I’m still so happy with how it turned out. Everyone enjoyed it and thought it was very playful and McLuhan-esque. In the evenings students had fun rearranging the letters to spell dirty words. Oh to be a carefree student again!

If I remember correctly I got an “A” on my tribute to Marshall McLuhan and to the best of my knowledge the School of Communication still has my installation in storage and brings it out every year for SFU’s Open House, which is very flattering.

Happy belated birthday, Marshall McLuhan. My undergrad career would have looked very different without your influential theories.

I leave you with some of Marshall McLuhan’s famous one-liners to ponder. Feel free to add your favourites the list:

  • The medium is the message.
  • The global village.
  • The future of the future is the present.
  • The effects come first; the causes, later.
  • If it works it’s obsolete.
  • Age of Anxiety.
  • Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
  • Art is anything you can get away with.
  • We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.
  • Ads are the cave art of the Twentieth Century.

For a fascinating video compendium presenting Marshall McLuhan live and in his own words (along with those of U.S. novelist Tom Wolfe), visit: http://www.marshallmcluhanspeaks.com/

Life Drawing

30 Nov

In university I was very lucky to have the opportunity to continue my art practice with my fine arts minor. These are some of my favourite life drawings. I really enjoyed my drawing class. During this class I felt like I experienced some weird, artistic, right of passage learning how to ‘draw life’. Life drawing is something all (visual) art students learn at some point during their artistic career. It was nice to be a part of that experience.

Life drawing is very liberating. It’s an odd feeling to draw someone who is so vulnerable and open and trusting. The technique for life drawing is surprisingly different from other types of drawing, like my high school portraits, for example. It’s much more fluid and organic.

Now, if I was a clever person, I would make some smart metaphor about life and life drawing being organic… but I’m not very witty!